The Newton High School baseball team showed some improvements in a doubleheader Tuesday at Klein-Scott Field against defending Class 4A, Division I state champion Arkansas City.
Newton fell to the Bulldogs, 4-3 and 5-3. Newton outhit Arkansas City in both games, 18-10 for the doubleheader, but struggled with errors in the second game and plating runs in both games.
“I thought for the most part, our pitching staff did a phenomenal job,” Newton coach Mark George said. “We used five pitchers. They were all able to throw at least two pitches for strikes. Matt Eldridge and Camden Fenwick threw the first game. Ben Schmidt, Griffin Davis and Konner Jaso threw the second. Schmidt was able to keep them off-balance with his change-up. Offensively, we didn’t hit too bad. We didn’t strikeout too much. We had several situations with a runner in scoring position or at third base with less than two outs, where we either popped out or struck out, which is the worst thing that can happen in that situation. We ran the bases well. They got to the point where they conceded our base running.”
In the first game, Newton scored in the bottom of the first inning. Arkansas City tied the game in the fourth and scored three runs in the fifth. Newton added two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Colton Davis went two for three hitting for Newton with an RBI. Matt Seirer and Henry Claassen each added an RBI.
Owen Butcher had two of Arkansas City’s three hits, both doubles, driving in three runs. Halen David and Brice Nittler each drove in a run.
Garrett VanDeventer threw five innings of relief for the win, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Starter Haden O’Toole allowed a run on a hit with a walk and three strikeouts.
Eldridge took the loss for Newton, lasting 4.1 innings and allowing three runs on a hit with two walks. Fenwick allowed two hits, a run and three strikeouts in 2.2 innings.
Tied 2-2 in the fifth inning of the second game, the Bulldogs scored three runs. Newton came back with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Railer defense was hampered with six errors, allowing just one earned run.
Owen Butcher went three innings for Ark City, allowing one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts. Ike Abrams pitched the fourth inning for the win, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Austin Hensley finished the game for the save, allowing two hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
Schmidt went 2.2 innings for Newton, allowing two unearned runs on four hits with a walk. Griffin Davis took the loss, allowing one earned run on three hits with a walk. Jaso finished the game, striking out five.
Hensley drove in two runs for Arkansas City. Gavin Rains and Devin Mendoza each drove in a run.
Claassen went two for four with two RBIs for Newton. Zach Kennell went two for four hitting.
“We have to play better defense,” George said. “With the pitch count rules, we have to be careful, and when we give up a free base, our pitchers have to throw five, six or seven more pitches.”
Newton drops to 0-3 and hosts Andover at 4 p.m. Friday.
O’Toole, VanDeventer (W) 3 and n/a; Eldridge (L), Fenwick 5 and Seirer.
Bucher, Abrams (W) 4, Hensley (S) 5 and n/a; Schmidt, G.Davis (L) 3, Jaso 5 and Seirer.